Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/9/2012 (1986 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Time for proactivity
It's time for the board of the Winnipeg Football Club to step up and address the Bomber crisis. The disturbing trends experienced this year, including firing of a head coach, an out of touch GM and a dismal on-field record, should prompt this board to be proactive in redirecting the club towards a more positive and hopeful course for 2013.
The board can start with an audit of the senior management model and ensure that better accountabilities are established, together with a review of the coaching staff and key personnel. While this is being done, secure a new communication team that can assist the organization to build more positive relationships with its fan base.
Now is the time to act. The 2012 season is lost but it's not too late to build something new for 2013 to go with our new Investors Field.
I think it is time the fans stop being so negative. Seldom is the criticism constructive. Negativity breeds losers.
I also think it's time the players raised a little internal fortitude and adopt an us-against-the-world mentality, if that's what it takes, because they surely need to do something.
There are some talented players on this team. At some point when the managing and coaching is done, the next step is up to the players. There is no physical reason they can't get the job done; it is all in their heads. Even ordinary people do extraordinary things — it happens all the time.
I am an 18-year Bomber season-ticket holder and I am passionate about my team. I, like thousands of other fans, witnessed the loss against the Riders on Sunday. There has been so much negative press about the Bombers (a lot of it justified). But could you not have published a picture of loyal Bomber fans dressed in their blue-and-gold attire instead of the two with paper bags on their heads?
This season has been hard enough as it is without rubbing salt in the wound.
For the past 20 years, I have spent most of my mornings with the Winnipeg Free Press in my hand, or the website on my computer, especially during football season. However, the quality of reporting in this section of the paper over the last few years has deteriorated.
Your three main Bomber reporters consistently show a lack of integrity and objectivity, pandering to sensationalistic headlines and witch hunts to assuage a frustrated fan base, rather than giving an unbiased accounting of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization's moves.
Gary Lawless, in particular, has embarrassed himself and the newspaper, using as his source material unsubstantiated rumours and material and then defending himself in the online comments section by falling back on his status as opinion columnist.
Before this season started, he wrote a column calling for patience for the team, but was himself calling for people's jobs a scant five weeks into the season.
I really hope Tim Burke plans to run a few hundred laps around the field with the other bad boys when they get back, for that dumb idea not to kick a field goal.
Consider the fans
I am one of the many Jets fans in the city who is getting upset about the possible lockout for the coming hockey season. I believe in unions and the negotiation process. What I have an issue with is that there isn't a place at the table for the fans or the communities that will be negatively affected by a lockout.
The fans and the businesses in Winnipeg surprised the NHL establishment last year with our unbelievable support for the Jets. In return, they seem to have forgotten about us in only a year.
Everyone needs to acknowledge that the money they are talking about comes from the dedicated fans throughout the league.
Don't punish us for your inability to come to an agreement. Instead, if the two sides can't figure out a deal, go to arbitration.
Gold rush confusion
Gordon Sinclair's Sept. 6 column, Warm Winnipeg welcome for new Hydro boss, mentions the "150th anniversary of the Klondike gold rush."
The years do zoom by, but I became Klondike centennial archivist in 1998 and not that many years have passed. I suspect Sinclair was referring to the Caribou gold rush in British Columbia.
An alternative option
In his Sept. 4 column, Premier's damned if he does..., Dan Lett suggests Greg Selinger had to select one of two options regarding Manitoba Hydro: go ahead with the Conawapa generating station, Keeyask dam and Bipole III and commit billions of dollars to generating power that might or might not be sold to customers outside of Manitoba, or pull out of the deal because the north-central United States is generating more and more electricity with super-cheap natural gas.
Lett suggests it might be necessary to proceed with only one or two of the projects to protect Manitoba ratepayers. There is another option that can free up more power than Keeyask (695 megawatts) that is estimated to cost $5.6 billion, or about $8,000 per kilowatt.
There are about 127,000 homes in the province with electric heat. Installing a geothermal heat pump in each of these homes would cost about $3 billion, reducing power demand by about 900 megawatts, or less than $3,500 per kilowatt. That's if the homeowners paid nothing for the geothermal system. It would also mean the power wouldn't have to be transported from the North or down the west side or the east side.
There are probably as many apartment buildings and other non-residential buildings in the province that could be converted to free up as much power again. Installing the systems would create more than 4,000 person-years of construction employment around the province compared to an estimated 4,500 to build Keeyask.
It would reduce hydro bills for 127,000 households by an estimated $190 million annually that could help our economy.
Reversal in order
Re: Manitoba Hydro keeps its eye on the long term (Letters, Sept. 7). If Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro, were really concerned about Manitoba Hydro ratepayers and the long-term viability of hydro generation in this province he would immediately reverse Hydro's decision and move the building of the Bipole III power line to the east side of the lakes rather than the west.
That is how you save Manitobans $1 billion up front in building costs and countless billions more in lost power over the next 100 years.
But I guess in Thomson's position, it makes more sense to kowtow to the provincial politicians and some aboriginal chiefs than to listen to your own trained employees.
An obvious bias
University of Winnipeg political scientist Allen Mills, in his Sept. 7 letter, Smile! It's not so bad!, excoriates the provincial Conservatives for a caucus photograph taken by a Free Press photographer and chosen by a Free Press editor. Observe the downwards angle, the chosen seriousness and the lack of organization. You can't win, right?
The bias, to an observer of the press in Winnipeg, and an observer of university pontificators, is obvious. I take it as a caveat for students who take courses from Mills.
Portage la Prairie